Wednesday 18 January 2017

John Drennan: It's not Ancient Greece, but let him run and let the people decide

The debate over David Norris reveals a nasty, intolerant streak at the heart of modern Ireland, writes John Drennan

Published 12/06/2011 | 05:00

ONE of the most famous political slogans was the classic War of Independence one of 'put him in to get him out'. Yes, they used to jail politicians once and, after last week's treatment of David Norris, many will say it's a pity the practice was discontinued.

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When it comes to the travails of Norris, a more modern variant of the slogan might be 'let him run and let the people have their say'.

Ireland as a country has a bad tradition of showing a sour face to difference. We, of course, dress in more modern clothes these days but little has changed when it comes to the national character. Last week we were told in hushed tones that a series of 'disturbing facts' had been raised about Norris. In so far as these 'disturbing facts' could be summarised, the senator has raised questions about the legalisation of drugs, prostitution and abortion.

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